19 Oct 2021, 15.55

The Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands will get an update tomorrow, Wednesday 20 October on the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan for Rural Ireland.

Ciarán Ó hÓbáin,  Assistant Secretary to the Communications Division, Department of Environment, Climate and Communications; Fergal Mulligan Programme Director for Ireland's National Broadband Plan at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and Dr Stjohn O’Connor, Principal Officer at the Department of Rural and Community Development are among the officials that will attend the meeting in Committee Room 3 at 9.30am.

Committee Cathaoirleach Denis Naughten TD said: “The pandemic and the move to remote working and education has only heightened the awareness and need for high-speed broadband in all areas of the country.

“This vital plan for rural Ireland is months behind schedule. Delays mean that thousands of homes that should have access to high-speed broadband by the end of next year under original targets won’t unless there is a catch- up plan.

“The Committee wants to get an update from Department officials on work carried out since the National Broadband Plan contract was signed in 2019. The reasons behind delays when the work was permitted - as it was deemed essential work  - throughout the pandemic and plans to address delays are some of the issues we want to discuss.”

Watch the meeting live.

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